About Us
Museum Membership
Event Schedule
Museum Newsletters
Museum Displays


E. J. (Gene) Wilber

                                                 [Handled Sheep and Cattle.]
                                                           Rock Township.
                       (Partner of Gale in handling both sheep and cattle later on.)
Richland Township 1874:G. W. Wilber, 45; spouse, Ann E., 49.
Rock Township 1882: E. J. Wilber, 38; spouse, E. L., 37.
                                               FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
Winfield Courier, June 30, 1881.
The “Corners” escaped the cyclone that struck Floral on Sunday the 12th inst., but we had a close call. One funnel shaped cloud going west and north and one southeast. In this section we had fearful wind, hail, and rain, damaging all growing crops, especially the wheat. The corn was badly riddled, but the past week’s growth has improved it materially.
J. B. Holmes and sons have invested in sheep, 840 ewes, from which they have 500 lambs. Mr. Holmes sold his wool clip at Winfield at about 16 cents per pound.
Gene Wilber says a preacher don’t want to undertake to cut short wheat with an old harvester, because nothing short of genuine christian fortitude will keep a man from profanity. Of course, he (Wilber) doesn’t swear.
Winfield Courier, August 10, 1882.
Delegates entitled to seats.
Rock: S. P. Strong, Frank Akers, E. J. Wilber.
Winfield Courier, August 24, 1882.
Gene Wilber and J. W. Weimer were in the city Friday night.   
Winfield Courier, November 16, 1882.
George Williams and Gene Wilber came down from Rock Wednesday to hear the news. It is unnecessary to add that they went home sick.
[Note: They were disappointed with the outcome of election.]
Winfield Courier, December 21, 1882.
“Gene” Wilber has a new overcoat of the latest cut.
Winfield Courier, February 22, 1883.
Prof. Shoemaker, principal of the Douglass schools, visited with Gene Wilber over Sunday.
Gene Wilber has some four or five hundred fat wethers—and they are fat—which will be on the market now in a short time.
Winfield Courier, March 15, 1883.
Lambs are as plentiful as sands by the sea shore.
A surprise party was given to Mr. and Mrs. Gale last week. All came away highly pleased. [George L. Gale]

Gale and Wilber sold 500 head of fat wethers to Smith of Augusta, averaging 108. Price $5.15.
Ed. Pentecost, who has been living with Gene Wilber, has moved to Winfield. Ed. is a genial companion and full of business. We are sorry to lose him.
Winfield Courier, March 29, 1883.
Miss Lou Wilber has returned home from school in Augusta.
“Gene Wilber” has bought Wm. Parsons’ farm. Price $2,500. Mr. Parsons remains on the farm until fall.
Winfield Courier, May 3, 1883.
Gene Wilber’s mother from Illinois is visiting him. It has been seven years since they saw each other.
Winfield Courier, June 14, 1883.
Gene Wilber and John Holmes were down Monday to market their wool clip. We saw a sample and judge it was wool because it had fizz on it like an old sock; it was good wool because Gene said so, and he wouldn’t lie. The clip will average about ten pounds. The next time those gentlemen assert we don’t know a sheep from a hedgehog, there will be wailing over deceased among relatives in Rock Township.
Winfield Courier, August 16, 1883.
Gene Wilber, accompanied by his wife and daughter, leave for a visit among friends in Illinois soon. Miss Wilber will remain in Bloomington and attend school during the coming year.
Winfield Courier, September 13, 1883.
Mr. Wilber, wife and daughter, have gone to Illinois to visit friends there.
Winfield Courier, October 25, 1883.
Gene Wilber returned from his rambles in the East last week. He took in Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois, and returns to Cowley better pleased than ever with her present and future prospects. All through Indiana and Illinois the people are restless and uneasy, and are looking anxiously toward Kansas as a place for future residence. Gene says that most of the places he visited will this year have to feed Kansas corn or go without.
Winfield Courier, November 15, 1883.
Gene Wilber was appointed trustee of Rock Township by the Board last week.
Winfield Courier, January 17, 1884.

The Darien schoolhouse in Rock Township was destroyed by fire Friday night. Some wood had been put in the drum of the stove to dry. This caught fire, fell out on the floor, and set the building on fire. All of the paraphernalia of the school, many of the scholars’ books, and some belonging to the teacher, Miss Leota Gary, were destroyed. Darien was one of the oldest schoolhouses in the county, and has been a place of rendezvous for the denizens of Upper Walnut for many years. The old walls could have told many tales of red-hot political meetings where Uncle Reuben Boothe held the boys level, or deep-laid plans to “capture the delegation” or “put up a trick,” in which George Williams, Harcourt, Strong, Gale, Grow, Wilber, and a host of others, were participants. Let a new house, raised on the ashes of the old one, be called “Darien.”
Winfield Courier, February 21, 1884.
                     Office of the County Clerk, Winfield, Kansas, February 12th, 1884.
BOARD met in regular session agreeable to adjournment of January 16, 1884. Present: S. C. Smith (Chairman), Amos Walton, Commissioner, County Attorney, and J. S. Hunt, County Clerk.
Among other proceedings the following claims were allowed the Judges and Clerks of the February 5th 1884 election...paid from $2.00 to $6.00.
Judges: E. J. Wilber, Reuben Boothe, J. M. Harcourt.
Clerks: J. F. Williams, W. R. Grow.
Winfield Courier, April 24, 1884.
Delegates. Rock: S. P. Strong, E. J. Wilber, H. L. Hornady.
Winfield Courier, May 1, 1884.
Gale and Wilber have sold part of their herd of sheep.
Mr. John B. Holmes has sheared his sheep and will doubtless have to blanket them till spring comes again.
MARRIED. Married on Sunday, the 20th, at the residence of the bride’s parents, Mr.
F. E. Pentecost of Arkansas City, and Miss Lou, daughter of Mr. S. P. Strong of Rock, Judge Gans officiating. The affair was comparatively private, only the family and a few friends were present.
The bride was the recipient of the following presents.
One dozen silver spoons: Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Wilber.
Winfield Courier, July 31, 1884.
Woolen Manufacturers. Gale and Wilber are at present engaged as the agents of a large manufacturing establishment in Indiana in buying all the wool raised in this and adjoining counties. The company are well pleased with the grade of wool and will hereafter draw their largest supply of raw material from this section. One of the greatest needs of Cowley County is a woolen mill to manufacture all of this wool instead of sending it away. Cowley County and adjacent territory are raising sheep extensively and with a woolen mill here the business would be greatly increased. Men of means should investigate this matter at once. The county offers big inducements for such an institution.
Winfield Courier, July 31, 1884.
’Gene Wilber left Tuesday on a business trip to Indiana. In addition to running a five hundred acre farm and stock, he has engaged in handling wool for an eastern manufacturing establishment. He is a first-class judge of wool, a first-class businessman and citizen, and will get for Cowley County wool growers every cent there is in the product.
Winfield Courier, August 7, 1884.

Anyone having wool for sale should notify us at Rock, Kansas, and we will give it our immediate attention. We are manufacturers’ agents and buy direct for them.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 12, 1885.
Rock: J. E. Gorham, trustee; Albert Brookshire, clerk; H. F. Hornady, treasurer; A. P. Carmine, justice; Austin Boothe and E. J. Wilber, constables.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 19, 1885.
Cowley’s Farmer’s Institute is now a permanency. A good number of our wide-awake farmers met at the COURIER office Saturday last with Mr. J. S. Baker, of Tisdale, in the chair and Mr. F. A. A. Williams, of Winfield, Secretary.
After the adoption of the plan of organization, the following members were enrolled, and paid their admission fee.
G. L. Gale, M. H. Markcum, R. J. Yeoman, J. S. Baker, J. F. Martin, F. W. McClellan, W. E. Merydith, F. H. Burton, Dr. C. Perry, R. T. Thirsk, A. H. Broadwell, D. C. Stevens, H. McKibben, S. P. Strong, and F. A. A. Williams.
The following board of township directors was elected, conditioned on their becoming members of the organization.
Bolton, Amos Walton; Beaver, F. H. Burton; Vernon, R. J. Yeoman; Ninnescah, L. Stout; Rock, E. J. Wilber; Fairview, T. S. Green; Walnut, R. T. Thirsk; Pleasant Valley, A. H. Broadwell; Silverdale, George Green; Tisdale, J. S. Baker; Winfield, Dr. Perry; Liberty, J. C. McCloy; Richland, D. C. Stevens; Omnia, W. R. Stolp; Silver Creek, John Stout; Harvey, R. S. Strother; Windsor, Samuel Fall; Dexter, W. E. Merydith; Cedar, J. H. Service; Otter, Mr. Mills; Sheridan, J. R. Smith; Maple, Mr. Fitzsimmons, Creswell, Ed. Green; Spring Creek, H. S. Libby.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 26, 1885.
Gale & Wilber shipped two carloads of fine three and four year old steers from their Rock township farm to Kansas City last week. The lot averaged 1,370 pounds and brought close onto five dollars per cwt. Tom Carson, of Richland, also shipped a carload.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, April 9, 1885.
’Gene Wilber returned last week from a business trip to Indiana. He brings orders from the large manufacturing firm for which he handled wool last season to furnish them this year one million pounds. This means that Gale & Wilber will take for manufacture all the wool raised in southwestern Kansas, at a net cash price which leaves out the profit generally exacted for two or three sets of “middle men,” and which the wool grower has heretofore had to pay. The manufacturers for whom they are agents say Cowley County will makes the best and finest of flannels, and it is all to be worked up into this class of goods.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, April 9, 1885.
                                     1,000,000 POUNDS OF WOOL WANTED,
For which the highest market price will be paid in cash. Sacks furnished or exchanged, by applying to                                               GALE & WILBER,
                        P. O. Address, Winfield or Rock, Cowley County, Kansas.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, April 30, 1885.
Tom Tumbleson is building an addition to his house. E. J. Wilber will do likewise soon. E. J. has a new team: they are flyers.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, May 21, 1885.
Geo. L. Gale started out today on a wool-buying tour. He will take in Newton, Larned, Sterling, Peabody, and other points. He will be gone about two weeks.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, June 25, 1885.
Miss Lou Wilber, Fred Wilber, Frank Wilber, and George Harcourt, of Rock, were down Sunday visiting George L. Gale.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 16, 1885.
Gene Wilber, of Rock, returned Monday from Indiana. He reports the crop prospect there was very good, wheat about the same as here. Corn is excellent. Oats and grass fine.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 30, 1885.
Miss Lou Wilber, of Rock, and her cousin, Belle, from Illinois, are visiting at George L. Gale’s.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 13, 1885.
Mr. and Mrs. Gene Wilber came from Rock last night for a visit with George L. Gale and wife. Dr. H. F. Harnady was also down Saturday.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, September 24, 1885.
Delegates: E. P. Hornady, W. R. Grow, Jas. Atkinson, E. J. Wilber, S. P. Strong.
Alternates: John Holmes, J. B. Holmes, James Walker, Reuben Boothe, Jr., Wm. White.
The convention amended the report by the substitution of H. O. Wooley for Pearson in the Vernon delegation, and W. O. Cunningham for G. W. Ramage in the Creswell delegation. Report was adopted and the committee discharged. The committee on permanent organization reported that the temporary organization be made permanent. The report was adopted. The chair, on motion, appointed E. J. Wilber as assistant secretary.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, September 24, 1885.
The Third Annual Exhibition of the Cowley County Fair & Driving Park Association opened this morning.
The display in horses this morning was in the “agricultural” line. The exhibit was large and in excellent form.
In the Gelding ring F. W. Schwantes’s fine iron gray took first on 4 year olds. For 2 year olds M. L. Read’s handsome chestnut colt took the blue, and Gene Wilber’s fine bay second.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, October 1, 1885.

The show of roadsters was very fine. Jim Vance, Joe Harter, Capt. Nipp, Gene Wilber, Billy Hands, Arthur Bangs, Joe Moore, and Judge McDonald were in the ring with their steeds. The driving was very fine and resulted in Joe Harter capturing the blue ribbon and Gene Wilber the red. In double roadster teams, Billy Hands, Gene Wilber, C. C. Pierce, and John Hahn competed. The teams were as fine as any one could wish to see. Billy Hands took first premium and Gene Wilber second. The teams were very evenly matched and the decision hard to make. In the roadster stallion class, Capt. Lyon captured first premium for 4 year-olds. For 3 year-olds, Judge McDonald’s “Malcomb Spray” took first.
The handsome gray driving team of Gene Wilber, which attracted so much attention in the driving team contest at the Fair Wednesday, is one of the very best teams in the West. They are perfect beauties: solid, sleek, and full of life, yet so gentle and well trained that anybody can drive them. They are perfectly built and capable for any work. Gene offers this elegant team for sale and the man who gets them will be in luck.
Lot 5. Agricultural.
Gelding, 2 years old and under 3. M. L. Read 1st, E. J. Wilber 2nd.
Lot 6. Roadsters.
Mare or gelding over 4 years. J. N. Harter 1st, E. J. Wilber 2nd.
Span mares or geldings over four years. Hand and Gary 1st, E. J. Wilber 2nd.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, December 17, 1885.
The committees, appointed at the citizens’ meeting, to work up the submitting of propositions for the extension of the Florence El Dorado & Walnut railroad from Douglass to Winfield, met yesterday afternoon in McDougall’s hall to determine on the apportionment of the amount of aid asked. Judge T. H. Soward called the meeting to order. S. P. Strong was chosen chairman and W. J. Wilson, Secretary. M. L. Robinson then explained the object of the meeting, to get everything in readiness for aggressive work in submitting the propositions and securing this road. The townships through which the road will run were represented as follows.
Rock: S. P. Strong, H. F. Hornady, E. J. Wilber, and W. H. Grow.
Fairview: J. C. Page and T. C. Covert.
Walnut: J. C. Roberts, J. B. Corson, John Mentch, T. A. Blanchard, J. Anderson, W. D. Roberts, and E. M. Reynolds.
Winfield: H. H. Siverd, J. A. Eaton, D. L. Kretsinger, Col. Whiting, T. H. Soward, B. T. Davis, M. L. Robinson, S. J. Smock, G. H. Crippen, J. E. Conklin, W. P. Hackney, G. L. Gale, Chas. Schmidt, W. J. Wilson, Ed P. Greer, H. E. Asp, A. H. Limerick, F. C. Hunt, and J. W. Curns.
J. C. Page, T. C. Covert, W. P. Hackney, and W. H. Grow made pointed remarks. It was decided to submit propositions to Rock for $18,000; Walnut $15,000; Fairview $10,000; Winfield $17,000, making the $60,000 required for the extension. Committees were appointed to canvass and work up the propositions, as follows.
Rock: G. H. Williams, R. Boothe, Sr., S. P. Strong, H. F. Hornady, W. H. Grow, J. M. Harcourt, and E. J. Wilber.
Fairview: Tom Covert, J. C. Page, H. C. Schock, J. W. Douglass, J. M. Barrick, R. P. Burt, A. J. McCollim.
Walnut: T. A. Blanchard, John Mentch, J. P. Short, John C. Roberts, W. D. Roberts, E. M. Reynolds, Chas. Schmidt.
The propositions are now being printed, and in a few days will be ready for signatures. The benefit of this extension is potent in every thinking man, and little opposition will be experienced.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, January 7, 1886.

Gene Wilber, of Rock, dropped in on THE COURIER Tuesday. He observed the magnificent large family bible presented to one of our force Christmas and was much taken with it. He remarked that he generally kept up with the late publications, but this had in some way escaped him.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, January 28, 1886.


Still the enterprises necessary to a big city in every respect cluster around us. Yesterday the Winfield Creamery building was sold at Sheriff’s sale. It was bought by Gale and Wilber, for King and Fildes, big woolen manufacturers in La Porte, Indiana, for whom Messrs. Gale and Wilber are the agents in this section. This building is bought as the inauguration of a big woolen mill—a mill where the thousands of pounds of wool raised in this country can be manufactured into fabrics right here, instead of shipping the wool east, and bringing the goods back, paying double freight, with a low market for wool. It is through Messrs. Gale and Wilber, who have been buying wool here a year or more for King and Fildes, that determined these manufacturers to locate this nucleus here. Mr. Wilber went east in the fall and clinched this enterprise. The machinery for three scouring machines has been bought and will be put in at once. The full machinery for manufacturing fabrics will very likely be put in by next fall—a branch factory to the firm’s eastern one, which is one of the largest of the kind in the east. In the meantime Gale & Wilber will handle all the wool that can be bought in this section, concentrating and scouring it here and shipping it to La Porte. This is the inauguration of an institution whose benefits to Winfield, Cowley County, and surroundings will be incalculable.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 25, 1886.
Gene Wilber has a dispatch stating that John Fildes of the woolen mill firm of King & Fields, of La Porte, Indiana, who have bought the creamery, will be here Monday, to be followed shortly by three complete wool scouring machines to be put in at once. They will likely have to double the present size of the creamery building. This will make one of our biggest institutions, and soon develop into a full-fledged woolen mill. Messrs. Gale & Wilber, resident managers and buyers, expect to handle a million pounds of wool this year, with all the pelts they can get.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 4, 1886.
The following are the real estate transfers filed in the office of Register of Deeds yesterday.
Read & Robinson to G L Gale, Sheriff’s deed to lots 8, 9 & 10, blk 15, Robinson’s ad to Winfield: $1,070.
Geo L Gale et ux to F C King and John Fildes, lots 8, 9 & 10, blk 15, Robinson’s ad to Winfield: $1,070.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 4, 1886.
Fred Wilber, a son of Gene Wilber, of Rock, and a grandson of Geo. L. Gale, of this city, has on exhibition at Bliss & Woods office, a sketch of a deer which he did with a pen. Fred has been taking lessons in ornamental penmanship for a short time with Prof. Inskeep, of the Commercial College, and to produce such a fine piece of workmanship speaks highly for both pupil and teacher.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 18, 1886.
Fred Wilber has on exhibition in Brown & Son’s window, one of his pen sketches of a pair of horses. Fred has acquired this art under Prof. Inskeep. It is very fine.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 18, 1886.
Marion Harcourt and Gene Wilber were down from Rock Saturday.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 18, 1886.
Gene Wilber and Dr. Hornady are down from Rock.



Cowley County Historical Society Museum